Salem Fire Department Hosts Open House

October 25, 2013

by Gloria Lavoie

The weather could have been better, but a little mist in the air did not stop 500 locals from coming to Salem Fire Department’s Open House on October 12.  This event was held in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week Firefighter demonstrations, evacuation simulations, live music, car seat advice and information from trained firefighters, a bounce house, and plenty of food were just some of the offerings.  Children enjoyed face painting and having an opportunity to dress up as their firefighter heroes, as an array of miniature firefighter gear was available to try on.

“If there’s ever a fire, you don’t hide, you get outside,” explained a firefighter to a young boy as his Dad held him up high to view a car fire demonstration.  The heat from the flames could be felt hundreds of yards away as onlookers watched with amazement as the firefighters donned their apparatus and extinguished the blaze.  Assistant Chief Paul Parisi explained that a car fire burns at 1,300 degrees and today’s cars burn fast because they are composed of mainly plastic.

A chili contest was held inside and Firefighter William Bagrowski presented his spicy concoction, while Chief Kevin Breen confidently served bowls of his entry.  Guests were invited to place their vote by secret ballot.  Chief Breen won the chili contest this year.  “I wonder if he’s using our secret family recipe,” joked Breen’s sister Jennifer.

Guests were invited to tour the station, climb up into fire trucks and ambulances, meet a dog that is trained to investigate suspicious fires, meet our firefighters,  and listen to The George Williams Band.  There were raffle baskets donated from area businesses and raffles for kids from each elementary school to win a ride to school in a fire truck in October and November.  “We’re really excited for people to come out, have some food and learn about fire safety,” said Assistant Chief Parisi.

Organizer and Salem Fire Department Records Clerk Debbie Scafidi said, “It was a good day.  The weather could have been better but everyone had fun.  So many people and local businesses helped and people told me they are already looking forward to coming back again next year.”